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Can Pens Overcome Road Woes to Take the Series Stranglehold?

Making easy work of the Blue Jackets in Game 1 and 2, the Penguins head to Columbus with pressure firmly applied on the series dagger up two games to none. Marc-Andre Fleury has stepped up to the plate in the absence of Matt Murray and knocked the opportunity to regain his former glory out of the park, stopping 70 of the 72 shots he’s faced in the series. He’ll see yet another start on Easter Sunday with the Pens’ No. 1 choice still on the shelf but with a renewed confidence, expect Fleury, who is winningest of all active goalies, to have another solid performance.

SHARK BITES
  • The Penguins are 0-6 SU in their last 6 games as a moneyline underdog of 103 or more.
  • The visiting team is 0-6 SU in the last 6 games in this matchup and 2-7 on the puckline in the last 9.
  • The favored team is 8-0 SU in the last 8 games in this matchup.

Frustrations boiled over at the end of Game 2 and manifested in a dirty Matt Calvert cross-check to the head of Tom Kuhnhackl. The league came down on Calvert with a one-game suspension so the Blue Jackets will be without one of the two men that have been able to solve Fleury this series in Game 3. Although he's by means a crucial part of the offense, Columbus will need all hands on deck if they hope to rally back into this series.

With three points and his 50th career playoff goal in Game 2, Sidney Crosby has been the best player in this series and if he, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel keep up their insane level of play, this could easily end up being a sweep. The three forwards have combined for eight points in two games and should be strong plays in daily fantasy today.

All that said, the Penguins have been a below average road team all season, averaging four fewer shots per game in contests played away from their home rink in Pittsburgh than at the PPG Paints Arena. If the Blue Jackets have an opportunity to get back in the series, this is it.  

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

On the opening NHL betting line for this matchup, Columbus sat as -120 favorites over at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 at Bovada but may move closer to puck drop.

Prediction-scoring formulas run on this game pick a potential 4-1.2 result in favor of the Penguins. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to vanquish their hosts on Sunday, as they are 52-21-11 this season, while the Blue Jackets are 50-26-8. Pittsburgh is 47-32-5 against the total, while Columbus is 32-46-6 versus the number. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Columbus vs Pittsburgh injuries news.

According to new NHL Power Rankings here at Odds Shark, it's the No. 26-ranked Columbus Blue Jackets and the No. 5-rated Pittsburgh Penguins in this matchup.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Columbus Blue Jackets No. 8-ranked offense (2.99 goals per game) against a Pittsburgh Penguins defense that ranks No. 17 at 2.81 goals per game allowed. The Blue Jackets powerplay has clicked at a 19.53% rate while the Penguins have a 80.08% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

 

Betting Trends
  • Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 7 games
  • Pittsburgh is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • Columbus is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Columbus is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Columbus's last 12 games
  • Columbus is 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Pittsburgh at Columbus, Tuesday, April 18th

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